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Monterey Park shooting: Coroner releases names of shooting victims

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Eleven people died after authorities said a 72-year-old gunman opened fire at a dance studio east of Los Angeles on Saturday, following a Lunar New Year celebration.

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Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said police responded to a report of the shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park around 10:20 p.m. local time. Capt. Andrew Meyer said authorities found 10 people dead at the scene and transported 10 others to area hospitals. On Monday, hospital officials announced that one of the injured victims had died.

Coroner identifies shooting victims

Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 23: The Los Angeles County Coroner Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday identified the 11 people killed in Saturday’s deadly shooting, according to CNN.

The victims were identified as:

  • Xiujuan Yu, 57
  • Hong Jian, 62
  • Lilian Li, 63
  • Wen Yu, 64
  • My Nhan, 65
  • Muoi Ung, 67
  • Valentino Alvero, 68
  • Diana Tom, 70
  • Ming Ma, 72
  • Yu Kao, 72
  • Chia Yau, 76

More victims identified; family members remember Valentino Alvero as ‘the life of any party’

Update 9:40 a.m. EST Jan. 23: Officials with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office have identified four of the people killed in Saturday’s shooting in Monterey Park, The Associated Press reported.

The victims have been identified as 57-year-old Xiujuan Yu, 64-year-old Lilan Li, 65-year-old My “Mymy” Nhan and 68-year-old Valentino Alvero, according to the AP. Officials earlier said the victims were all in their 50s, 60s or 70s and included at least one Chinese national, according to CNN.

In a statement released Monday, Alvero’s family remembered him as “a loving father, a dedicated son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three granddaughters fiercely, an uncle who loved his nieces and nephews like his own.”

“He loved people and hearing about their lives and in return, he shared his own stories with so much gusto and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh along with him,” the statement read. “he loved ballroom dancing, he loved his community, and was the life of any party.”

Earlier, family members said Nhan loved dancing and spent years going to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park.

“If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious,” family members said.

At least 1 Chinese national killed in shooting

Update 9:25 a.m. EST Jan. 23: At least one of the people killed in Saturday’s shooting was a Chinese national, CNN reported, citing a statement from the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles.

“The serious shooting incident in the Chinese community is shocking and deeply regrettable,” the statement read. Officials added that Chinese citizens in the area should “raise risk awareness, strengthen security precautions, and ensure their own safety,” CNN reported.

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Sheriff: 42 rounds fired at Monterey Park dance studio scene

Update 6:30 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna shared items that were recovered from the search of the suspect’s house in a news conference Monday evening.

Some of the items retrieved from Huu Can Tran’s mobile house included a 308-caliber rifle and multiple electronic devices. Luna said that there was evidence to believe that the suspect was possibly making homemade “firearm suppressors.” Luna also said that officers located “hundreds of rounds” of ammunition.

Tran reportedly had a brief criminal history including an arrest in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm, Luna said

Luna said that 42 rounds of ammunition were fired at the Monterey Park dance studio scene. It was fired from a high-capacity handgun. A 9mm caliber semi-automatic MAC-10 assault weapon was recovered from the Alhambra dance studio scene.

Three victims have been released - Valentino Alvero, 68, Mymy Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63. Luna said that their names have been released because the next of kin notification has been completed.

According to CNN, one of the victims was likely shot in a vehicle outside the dance studio before the gunman went inside the Monterey Park dance studio.

Luna said there is still no motive for the shooting.

The investigation is ongoing.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Deputies to deliver update on investigation at Monday afternoon press conference

Update 4:15 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Monterey Park police said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will hold a press conference Monday afternoon to share updates in the investigation into Saturday’s shooting.

Many of the circumstances surrounding the shooting remained unknown on Monday, including a possible motive.

Authorities said 11 people died as a result of the gunfire. Two have been identified as 65-year-old My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63.

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Vigil planned to remember victims of Monterey Park shooting

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Officials in Monterey Park on Monday announced plans to hold a vigil on Tuesday evening to honor the people injured and killed in Saturday’s mass shooting.

“We believe that it is important for our community to come together to remember and heal,” Mayor Henro Lo said in a statement.

Officials said 11 people died after a gunman opened fire at Star Ballroom Dance Studio. Officials have identified two of the victims as 65-year-old My Nhan and 63-year-old Lilan Li.

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Police say suspected gunman went to police with allegations of fraud, theft, poisoning

Update 3:45 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Police in Hemet, a city about 80 miles southeast of Monterey Park, said they spoke earlier this month with Huu Can Tran, the 72-year-old man accused of opening fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Saturday.

In a statement, police said Tran lived in the city. On Jan. 7 and 9, he visited the police department and reported “past fraud, theft, and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago,” officials said.

“Tran stated he would return to the station with documentation regarding his allegations but he never returned,” according to police.

Authorities did not immediately share more details about the allegations. Police continue to investigate a possible motive in Saturday’s deadly shooting.

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

11th person dies after Monterey Park shooting

Update 3:30 p.m. EST Jan. 23: An 11th person has died after being injured in Saturday’s shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, KABC-TV reported.

In a statement obtained by the news station, officials with the LAC+USC Medical Center said Monday that “despite our best efforts, we are saddened to share that one of the victims has succumbed to their extensive injuries.

“We want to express our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones,” the statement read. “Of the remaining victims receiving care at LAC+USC Medical Center, one remains in serious condition. The remaining two patients are recovering.”

Authorities earlier said the victims, five men and five women, were all in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Two have so far been identified by name: My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63.

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Man who disarmed suspected gunman says he acted on instinct

Update 2:55 p.m. EST Jan. 23: A man being hailed as a hero after he disarmed the 72-year-old accused of killing 10 people and injuring 10 more Saturday night told reporters on Monday that he acted on instinct.

“Something happened there,” Brandon Tsay told The New York Times. “I don’t know what came over me.”

Tsay told “Good Morning America” that he was in the lobby of his family’s Lai Lai Ballroom & studio, a short distance from the Star Ballroom Dance Studio where Saturday’s deadly shooting took place, when suspected gunman Huu Can Tran walked in with a gun.

“My first thought was, I was going to die here,” he said. “This was it.”

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Authorities identify 2 victims; family remembers My Nhan as ‘our biggest cheerleader’

Update 12:45 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Authorities on Monday released the names of two victims killed in Saturday’s shooting.

My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63, were among the 10 people killed when a gunman opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, KNBC reported. Officials with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said that in all, five women and five men in their 50s, 60s and 70s were killed in the shooting, according to the news station.

In a statement released Monday, Nhan’s family said she regularly visited the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on the weekends. She loved to dance.

“We are starting the Lunar New Year broken,” the statement read. “We never imagined her life would end so suddenly. Mymy was 65 years old. If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader.”

It remained unclear Monday whether the suspect, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, knew any of the victims.

- Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden orders flags flown at half-staff after shooting

Update 9:17 p.m. EST Jan. 22: The White House released a proclamation Sunday evening from President Biden, ordering the flag at half-staff.

“As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on January 21, 2023, in Monterey Park, California, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, January 26, 2023. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations,” said Biden.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Suspect identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran

Update 8:30 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna confirmed in a news conference Sunday evening that the driver of the white cargo van was the suspect in the mass shooting. Luna also confirmed that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

During the search of the white cargo van, evidence was obtained that connected the suspect to the Monterey Park shooting and the incident in Alhambra. A handgun was also reportedly located inside the van.

Luna identified the suspect as Huu Can Tran, 72. Luna also said that there are no other suspects at large.

According to CNN, Luna said Tran was disarmed by a group of people at the Alhambra dance studio.

The gun that was retrieved from the scene in Alhambra was described by Luna as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, according to The Associated Press.

Luna said that seven of the victims remain hospitalized. Names of those killed or injured have not been released.

Luna has not released the ages of the victims but said they appeared to be over the age of 50, according to the AP.

“I still have questions in my mind, which is: What was the motive for this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he gets these guns and was it through legal means or not?” Congresswoman Judy Chu said in the news conference.

The investigation is ongoing. Luna said a motive has not yet been determined.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden pledges support for community impacted by shooting

Update 7:27 p.m. EST Jan. 22: The White House released a statement from President Joe Biden Sunday evening regarding the shooting in Monterey Park, California.

“Jill and I are thinking of those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. While there is still much we don’t know about the motive in this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds,” Biden said in the statement.

Biden said he directed his Homeland Security advisor to “mobilize full federal support to local and state authorities,” during the investigation into the shooting.

“As we await more crucial information from law enforcement, I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the broader area that we will support you in every way we can,” Biden said.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Report: Driver of white cargo van died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Update 7 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Multiple law enforcement officers reportedly confirmed to The Los Angeles Times that the driver of the white cargo van died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. However, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna did not immediately confirm that the driver in the white cargo van was the suspected shooter.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Attempted shooting in Alhambra believed to be connected to Monterey Park attack

Update 5:47 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna said he believed the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park and an incident that occurred about 30 minutes later at the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra were connected, according to The Associated Press. Officials are still working to determine whether there is a connection between the two incidents.

Witnesses said a man entered the Alhambra club with a gun but had it taken away by patrons before he fled, the sheriff told reporters.

Deputies: Operation with armed suspect in Torrance ends

Update 5:18 p.m. EST Jan. 22: In a tweet, the Special Enforcement Bureau of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department tweeted that the operation to find an armed suspect in a white van in a Torrance parking lot had ended.

“Neighborhood safe,” the agency wrote.

Reports: Authorities breach van possibly connected to Monterey Park shooting

Update 4:01 p.m. EST Jan. 22: According to KABC-TV, SWAT team members broke into a white cargo van in Torrance, 30 miles away from the mass shooting that took place in Monterey Park late Saturday. It was unclear whether the van was occupied or not.

The tactical team began searching the van that was involved in a standoff, CNN reported.

Earlier, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna said it was possible that the standoff had been linked to the suspect responsible for the deaths of 10 people at a dance hall business in Monterey Park.

“People have asked, ‘Is that our suspect? We don’t know,” Luna told reporters.

Sheriff: It’s unclear whether standoff in Torrance related to Monterey Park shooting

Update 3:44 p.m. EST Jan. 22: During a midafternoon news conference, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna addressed a standoff several miles away in Torrance, The Orange County Register reported.

A white van was surrounded in a parking lot by law enforcement officials, according to the newspaper.

“People have asked, ‘Is that our suspect? We don’t know,” Luna told reporters. “As I said earlier, today, we had a vehicle that was described as a white box van, I guess you would say, a van of interest. And there is a van that looks just like what was described to us in the city of Torrance. It is a barricaded suspect situation, we are working with one of our partner agencies in the Torrance Police Department to resolve that. We believe there is a person inside of that vehicle. We don’t know what their condition is but we will handle that in the safest manner that we possibly can.”

Authorities release photos of suspected shooter

Update 2:42 p.m. EST Jan. 22: The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office released photographs of the man believed to be the shooter in the mass shooting that occurred Saturday night in Monterey Park, California.

Sheriff Robert G. Luna tweeted that the suspect was identified as a homicide suspect “and should be considered armed and dangerous.”

Biden shares condolences for people affected by shooting

Update 1:03 p.m. EST Jan. 22: President Joe Biden tweeted condolences to the families of the victims killed, and also to the people injured, after a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.

“I’m monitoring this situation closely as it develops, and urge the community to follow guidance from local officials and law enforcement in the hours ahead,” Bident wrote.

Motive for shooting remains unknown, sheriff says

Update 12:17 p.m. EST Jan. 22: The motive for the gunman was unclear, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna told reporters during a Sunday morning news conference.

Luna said it was unclear whether the shooting in Monterey Park was connected to the Lunar New Year celebration that was being held nearby.

“Everything’s on the table,” Luna said. “We don’t know if this is specifically a hate crime, defined by law.

“But who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?”

5 men, 5 women killed in shooting, authorities say

Update 11:58 a.m. EST Jan. 22: Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna told reporters during a Sunday morning news conference that the suspected gunman was described as “an Asian male between the ages of 30 and 50,” but cautioned that detectives have received “different descriptions of one suspect.”

“We are utilizing every resource to apprehend this suspect in what we believe to be one of the county’s most heinous cases,” Luna said.

Luna added that the weapon used was not an assault rifle.

The sheriff said that five men and five women were killed at the ballroom dance business in Monterey Park. Luna told reporters he did not have information about the victims’ ages or where they were from.

Authorities ‘utilizing every resource’ in search for suspect

Update 11:50 a.m. EST Jan. 22: U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., said the Monterey Park community was resilient and would recover from the shooting.

“I can only imagine the terror, pain and anxiety (the residents) feel,” Chu told reporters during a Sunday morning news conference. “This could have been much worse, because just an hour earlier there were thousands of people just a block away.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna told reporters that his department is “utilizing every resource” to capture the suspect.

“Our local state and federal law enforcement agencies are working together to better serve the residents here of Los Angeles County and to apprehend this attacker,” Luna said.

Sheriff: Department’s No. 1 priority is bringing gunman to justice

Update 11:38 a.m. EST Jan. 22: Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna said during a Sunday morning news conference that preliminary reports indicated that the suspected gunman is a male Asian.

Monterey Park police Chief Scott Wiese told reporters that “my concern now is the safety of Monterey Park.”

The chief added that his department’s No. 1 priority was to bring the gunman to justice.

Hilda Solis, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said she was “devastated” by the shooting.

“My heart is broken,” she told reporters.

ATF assisting in investigation

Update 11:20 a.m. EST Jan. 22: Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are assisting in the investigation after the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, the agency confirmed in a tweet on Sunday.

Gov. Newsom: ‘Our hearts mourn as we learn more’ about shooting

Update 11:06 a.m. EST Jan. 22: California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that residents in Monterey Park “were the victims of a horrific and heartless act of gun violence.”

“Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night,” Newsom tweeted.

Biden briefed on shooting

Update 9:08 p.m. EST Jan. 22: President Joe Biden was briefed about the shooting in Monterey Park, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted.

“The President has been briefed by the Homeland Security advisor on the mass shooting in Monterey Park. He directed her to make sure that the FBI is providing full support to local authorities, and to update him regularly today as more details are known,” Jean-Pierre wrote.

Original report: Meyer said the shooting occurred at a ballroom dance business. He added that the suspect was “still outstanding” and that there was no description of the gunman.

The sheriff’s department said the shooting took place on the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue, the Los Angeles Times reported. Officials said the shooter was a male.

Saturday was the beginning of the two-day Lunar New Year festival, one of the largest in Southern California, The Associated Press reported. Monterey Park, located about 10 miles east of Los Angeles, has about 60,000 people and has a large Asian population, according to AP.

“When officers arrived on (the) scene, they observed numerous individuals, patrons of the location pouring out of the location, screaming,” Meyer told reporters. “The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims.”

Meyer said it was “too early” to tell if the shooting was targeted.

Monterey Park police Chief Scott Wiese said during the news conference that Sunday’s activities during the festival were canceled.

Freelance news organization RMG News reported that the shooting occurred after a “Year of the Rabbit” Lunar New Year celebration in the downtown area of the city, according to The Orange County Register.

Witness Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood barbecue restaurant across from where the shooting occurred, told the Times that three people ran into his business and told him to lock the door. According to those three people, a man was armed with a semiautomatic gun in the area, Choi told the newspaper. They added that the gunman had multiple rounds of ammunition.

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